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Vuelta España

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Anyone else watching??
A VERY exciting last stage of the Vuelta! Gonzales is riding really good! He might just take the overall from Heras

[ September 29, 2002, 08:31 AM: Message edited by: Tele-Swede ]
post #2 of 8
...and it's over--Aitor Gonzalez rode a magnificent time trial, erasing his 1' 08" deficit behind Roberto Heras, to win both the final stage and the Golden Jersey of the overall winner. As much as I'd like to have seen Heras win his second Vuelta a Espana, especially after the great and selfless effort he put in to support Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France, I think Aitor Gonzalez deserved the victory, as the best all-around rider. Heras, arguably the world's best climber, has improved his time-tial immensely, and he put in a respectable ride today, but he will still need to bring it up another notch if he wants to succeed Lance Armstrong when the 4-time TdF champion finally decides to end his reign!

The Vuelta brought excitement to the end, as all three podium spots changed on the final day, unlike the Tour de France that was a nearly foregone conclusion from halfway through. I was also glad to see Joseba Beloki on the podium, but it was unfortunate that he took over third place only due to Oscar Sevilla's major mechanical problems (he had to switch bikes twice in just the first few kilometers). Beloki is the first rider to take the podium in two major Grand Tours (out of three--the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France--where he finished second this July, and the Vuelta a Espana) in the same season. Few riders have shown the ability to remain on top of their game like that consistently through the long season. Beloki may never WIN a Grand Tour, but he certainly deserves recognition as one of the premiere stage race riders in the world!

Inspiring! I think I'll go for a ride....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I also would have liked to see Heras win, but it's great that Kelme finally got an overall victory. They deserved it as a team!
Event after event they keep riding very strong with almost the hole team still in the race at the finish.
post #4 of 8
Young Iban Mayo finished in the top ten. He kicked ass racing in the Euro juniors and I suspect that he has what it takes to develop into a superb rider.
post #5 of 8
Of all three "Grand Tours" the Vuelta has the hottest podium girls, followed by the Giro, then the Tour.
post #6 of 8

I don't know..., them French gals ain't so bad.

Excellent topic, Astrochimp! At least someone here has the right perspective on cycling!
post #7 of 8
Bob pointed out that "Beloki is the first rider to take the podium in two major Grand Tours (out of three--the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France--where he finished second this July, and the Vuelta a Espana) in the same season".

He's the first to do it in a few years, but other riders have done it in the past. I think Stephen Roche won the Giro, TdF and Worlds in '87. There have been others.
post #8 of 8
You are right, Darrell--thanks for pointing it out. I meant to say that Beloki is the first in 10 years or so--I think they were saying 1991 was the last time, and I don't recall who it was.

My only concern about the Podium Chicks in the Vuelta is that Oscar Sevilla, despite his actual age of 25 or 26, does not look old enough to be up there with them! I swear he looks like he's about 13, and way out of his league (with the PC's--he certainly knows how to ride that bike)....

I also agree that the Tour de France PC's were at least equal to the Vuelta PC's, and they didn't make them carry those ridiculous handbags as accessories! Thank you, BadRat, for the reminder!


Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ October 04, 2002, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
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